The last thing you would expect from your brand new car is for the steering wheel to fall off, but that is exactly what happened to the owner of Tesla Model 3…
Jason Tuatara patiently waited for several months for his brand new electric car to be delivered to his home in Blackpool, England. He had placed the order in September 2019 and it was scheduled to be delivered in October however there were several delays and finally, his dream car arrived in March 2020.
The travel agent wasn’t able to enjoy it much due to the coronavirus lockdown but on April 26 he decided to take it for little ride and as he backed out of his driveway those plans were scuppered when the steering wheel came off in his hands.
Earlier that day he had been on a 32km drive, and had the wheel come off while he was on the main road amongst traffic, he could have been involved in a serious accident. Fortunately, he was able to bring the saloon to a stop and then announced to the world what had happened via Twitter.
Directing his tweet to Elon Musk and Tesla Services, he wrote, “Steering wheel fell off today! Concerned that the rest of the car will fall to bits too! Can this be looked into as to why it's happened to a car just over 1 month old!”
Tuatara also got in touch with the Tesla store and within an hour and a half the Model 3 was collected and a 2019 model year Jaguar was loaned as a replacement. “I was surprised at it not being a Tesla but apparently, this was all the company had,” he said.
The Tesla was fixed and returned the very next day - and the problem was identified as being a missing bolt. “Tesla confirmed that the steering wheel was not fixed to the body of the car with a bolt, and they are looking into what happened on production,” Tuatara said.
Other manufacturers have recalled cars over similar issues. In 2018, Ford recalled 1.4 million cars for an issue regarding a loose steering wheel, and Hyundai recalled 44,000 Santa Fe models for the same issue.
Tesla has not commented on the incident but The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the UK is doing a full investigation.